Principles of Sustainable Development for Business Firms: A Synthesis for Practicing Managers
The need for Sustainable Development of organisations, business and otherwise, has been debated over the past five decades. While there is consensus on the need for sustainable development, only diverse discussions have taken place on how exactly this is to be achieved in a business firm. This paper proposes a set of principles of Sustainable Development for practicing business managers. An integration of the literature on sustainable development, industrial ecology and strategic management, is attempted for this purpose. These principles are enriched and explained through the use of analogies with nature, systems thinking and morphological analysis. Each principle is discussed along with case studies, to illustrate that these are implementable. These principles would help a firm to achieve desirable objectives of the triple bottom line, namely people, planet and profit. They also help to ensure resilience and relevance of the firm in the long term, in an environment of complexity and change.
Keywords: Sustainable Development, Business, Analogy, Systems Thinking, Morphological Analysis
PhD Scholar, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology